Paramount Crosses $1Bil For 2008 – Becoming More Reliant On Franchises

Today Paramount Pictures announced they crossed the $1 Billion mark in domestic sales (after crossing $1Bil in int’l sales last week). Currently the #1 ranked studio (as they were in 2007), this is a turnaround for Paramount which rarely broke into the top 5 in recent years. However, changes are in store and it appears the studio is becoming more reliant on franchises (like Star Trek).

In a statement, Paramount Chairman Brad Grey stated:

It has been a wonderful year so far. As we look towards the rest of 2008, and into 2009 — when we will have Transformers II, JJ Abrams’ Star Trek, G.I. Joe and NowhereLand starring Eddie Murphy, among others — we are as excited about the future as we are by reaching this milestone.

A future without Dreamworks – Paramount looks to its franchises
One of Brad Grey’s biggest moves was the $1.5 Billion acquisition of Dreamworks in 2005. However tensions between Paramount and Steven Spielberg (and his partners Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen) are leading to a dissolution of the partnership and exit of the Dreamworks team later in the year. Although it is still possible that Paramount will continue to distribute Dreamworks films, the studio will need to come up with more of its own content. Variety notes:

Paramount’s slate will not be affected until 2010. At that point, the studio would have to fill any void with more homegrown fare like the upcoming “Star Trek” installment and “G.I. Joe.” Par would also likely rely more heavily on its Marvel partnership to spawn franchises like “Iron Man.” As for DreamWorks’ box office contribution, Paramount has earned $930 million domestically so far this year; live-action titles from DreamWorks represent about 5% of that sum.

The loss of Dreamworks, combined with changing dynamics in the film biz all points to Paramount looking more and more to proven franchises in the future. In an article titled “Hollywood relying more on franchises” from last week in The Hollywood Reporter, the trade notes:

It’s All About the Big Tent Event. As studios trim their overall output–a move Disney publicly announced several years ago and its competitors have since followed–they’re more reliant than ever on big spectacles with blockbuster potential that are aimed at pulling people away from other entertainment.

Proven commodities, whether on the big or small screen, in comics or toys, will take precedence because they’re easier to sell than an unknown entity, and they are tie-in and merchandise friendly.

Paramount Pictures and Marvel Studios have already announced an Iron Man sequel, along with superhero fare like Thor and Captain America. Also in the hopper for Paramount: G.I. Joe, Transformers 2 and the next Star Trek.

Evidence of Paramount’s growing reliance on franchises is already here. Within a couple weeks of the release of Iron Man the studio already staked out an April 2010 date for a sequel, before they even had a script or director on board. And even though they didn’t have the script until April, they didn’t let the writer’s strike stop plans to release Transformers 2 only two years after the first film. And for Star Trek, they are already thinking about the sequel, a year before that film is to be released.

Back to the future
So for Trek fans, this is all good news. Brad Grey (who hired JJ Abrams) is riding high. JJ Abrams’s star is rising within the studio. Studio buzz on the film remains high and homegrown franchises like Trek are becoming more and more important to the studio. The May 2009 Star Trek feature may be the first Trek film in over six years, but it looks like it could spark the beginning of a prolific period in Trek films like we haven’t seen since the 80s and 90s.

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Yeah, yeah JJ, but really man, no pressure.

Everybody go see the movie 9,000,000 times.


Paramount is making a big fuss about crossing the 1 billion mark this year to save face. They are NOT raking in the cash. All three of their big hits this summer, “Iron Man”, “Indiana Jones”, and “Kung Fu Panda” were made by independent studios, Paramount was merely the distributor and they’ll see very little of the profits.

The first of Paramount’s own productions for the summer was released just this weekend, The Love Guru, and is already a certified bomb.

I can’t wait until some Paramount executive comes up with STAR TREK MEETS IRON MAN!!!! Bound to happen.

Good point, Prologic9. Mike Myers needs something franchise-worthy and THAT was not it. I can’t get past seeing Verne Troyer (sp?) used as a sight gag (again.) What Paramount (Hollywierd, really) needs is a what it had briefly: boutique studios. They tried out small budget movies on a limited basis. A few (Sideways, My Big Greek Wedding) made huge bucks, more than enough to pay for the others and still turn a tidy profit. It would be FAN-tastic to see a small budget Trek film with just the right amount of polish. If it’s a big hit, it goes to wide distribution. If it’s a bomb, it goes to DVD, but only AFTER it gets treated to a proper release.

Like my ideas, Brad? I can be bought. ;-)


4. “I can’t wait until some Paramount executive comes up with STAR TREK MEETS IRON MAN!!!! Bound to happen.”

It’s happened before. Star Trek IV was (in one early story idea) to have featured Eddie Murphy (riding high on the success of the Beverly Hills Cop series at the time) meeting Kirk and co. Can you imagine how awful that would’ve been?

Personally I can’t see how Eddie Murphy is still a bankable star (especially after Pluto Nash — yecch!) but there he is, still mentioned expectantly in the above article.


If it’s good enough, I probably will. Though, I don’t know if I have a few thousand years to see it that many times.

No, you know it’s going downhill when they have this cast:


Hillary Clinton as Captain Kathryn Janeway
Condileeza Rice as Admiral Uhura
Stephen Colbert as Dr. McCoy
Tom Cruise as Scotty
Mike Myers as Tarzan
Mike Myers as Iron Man
Mike Myers as Fat Bastard
Mike Myers as Austin Powers
Mike Myers as Goldmember
Mike Myers as Dr. Evil
George W. Bush as Spock
George H. Bush as Future Spock
Mike Myers as Admiral Kathryn Janeway
Mike Myers as Hillary Clinton
Tom Cruise as Mike Myers

I pray that that will never happen. How it would happen, I’m not quite sure.

I forgot this:

Shia Le Beuof (however you spell it) as Indiana Jones
Harrison Ford as Chewbacca
Harrison Ford as Han Solo
Harrison Ford as Princess Leia
Carrie Fisher as Jabba the Hutt
William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk
Carrie Fisher as The Emperor
Denise de Arman as That One Guy
CmdrR as MONGO
MONGO as Anthony Pascale
Anthony as Professor Farnsworth
Philip J. Fry as Amy Wong

Who wants to see THAT movie?

I just wish Star Trek would hurry and come out with cast photos/posters! G.I. Joe (which I’m also looking forward to after reading the script) came out with a whole slew of photos for the cast before it had even wrapped production, and it doesn’t come out until 2009 either.

I’m thinking it’s about time for another teaser or at the very least a shot of the Enterprise. It’s midway through the year already.

Ok next year it will be iron man fighting and then teaming up with the hulk. (if you seen the hulk then you know what i mean) or the Enterprise goes back in time and faces the transformers.or the transformers faces cloverfield or cloverfield faces godzilla.Or cloverfield and godzilla faces the transformers.As Spock always says. There are always possibilities.


Ok lets get babylon5 to crossover into battlestar galactica universe and then all of a sudden have stargate sg1 apear at the end and then for a surprise none other then the Enterprise ncc 1701 appear at the very end.

Hey Anthony. any news about any new trailers coming up

What’s the good news, Anthony?

A picture of the Enterprise and crew?

You’re pregnant?

You’re not pregnant?

Shatner’s in the movie; the E orbits his butt?

If the “good news” was cast photos I think it would be more like “GOOD NEWS EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!”

…or maybe that’s just how I would be, lol

hummph. I’m going to sulk until I see something juicy on the new flick.


No no, he’s referring to the fact that I cast him as Professor Farnsworth from Futurama. One of the Prof’s catchphrases is “Good news, everyone!” It is usually followed by horrendous news that would usually result in the near-death of the crew. In this case, it’s the death of the fridge.

R.I.P. Fridge

#5- I don’t think Mike Myers needs a new franchise. I think he need to make more movies in the So I Married An Axe Murderer mold. He is funny without all the over-the-top ham.

So far as Trek’s future, I hope this means that Paramount will let Abrams spend and trust his vision. Tight budgets and sci-fi don’t mix well.

Ah! My thinkbone must need cleaning. Thanks TOG. Quite good, Anthony. Good to see you joining in the local mischief we create to bide our abundant time.

23: I’m not sure that’s entirely accurate….after all The Wrath of Khan was produced by the television division so that the budget would not spiral out of control on potentially meaningless or excessive special effects as it did with the motion(less) picture. The fans got one of the best written and most universally accepted Star Trek movie to date (with the exception of Star Trek IV AKA “the one with the whales”)….along with the most mocked. KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!

so the news is if the movie is a hit , paramount will milk star trek for all its worth ! YAY sound good to me , hmm and tng dvd movie ……….please?

It looks like things are looking up for Trek in the future. Always a good thing. Let’s hope the next Trek film is a blockbuster that will be talked about for years.

Say, Anthony, whatcha hearing about Comic-Con?

Oh Anthony, sorry about the fridge. I know how reliant I am on my Mountain Dew. But this particular article rocks!

TOG#10- Denise de Arman as That One Guy? I think not, my darling – I like very much being a girl. However, if you would like to switch the casting around and appear as me, I will loan you a cute little sequined Latin costume, along with a 4-inch-high pair of dancing shoes to match. Do you like red?

You know, guys, we should all send Anthony 30 bucks a piece to get a new refrigerator – look at all the work he puts into keeping us abreast of all the Trek news every day. Do you take Paypal or credit cards Anthony?

Blahblah blah suits blahblah beancounters blah blah now where’s that ship??? SHIP!!!! ENTERPRISE!!!!!!!!

(Please, nice mister beancounter suit people? Have I mentioned how much I admire you for your … for your very expensive shoes and your … well, that’s a spiffy comb you’ve got there. You’re my hero and if I ever have a son I will command him to discard his personality to be more like you because that’s how much you rock. Ship?)

More with sugar than vinegar, they say. Too butt-kissy?

correction — we the writer’s didn’t let the TF2 stand still by rushing a non contracted treatment to work from. Studio would’ve had nothing to go on otherwise.

come to think of it — we also made sure to have a decent shootable script for Trek by the time the strike stared.

I know this is slightly off topic (and I might not be the first to ask or suggest this) but does have a facebook group? This is a thriving community and I know I’d like to be a part of it in facebook if anyone else is interested. Having been an editor of the Quest trek magazine in Queensland (in the 90s), I recall a few posts back that someone spoke of how the trek community lost its energy in clubs, magazines, etc years back and I think shows that is not necessarily the case anymore — it’s just we lack a common portal to gather and chat about trek. Given that there are portents that trek is about to not only return but return for a while, perhaps it is time to bring the club back in a virtual setting courtesy of

Hello Bob Orci mans!

Mongo not do justice to Anthony mans. Not have good looks enough. But if like, Mongo set up with much ice for Anthony mans keep his beer cold.

Mongo not know how pay for expensive bandwidth. Have tried eBay?

MONGO- Come to 69 Forward and keep Harry and I company – you know I hesitate to be left alone with him…

Okey dokey.

I can almost promise everyone that JJ’s “Star Trek” will be a huge hit and Paramount will commission a trilogy (with the new cast.)

With all respect to the editor and the high caliber of reporting that goes into the daily articles on this site, could we please use the spell checker more aggressively? I mean this with upmost sincerity rather than malice. There have been a helluva lot of typos lately.

I hear Tony Stark has a cameo in the new Trek movie now. He’s all over the place!

It’s an exciting time to be a Star Trek fan alright. Don’t know abotu anybody else but when the movie comes out I’m not gonna be able to walk past a cinema without going in and seeing it. I’m think 10 times would be a nice round number but it may end up being a few more than that! :)

Paramount will do everything in its’ power to make Trek a huge success. I only hope they are mindful of avoiding oversaturation ala Episode I.
Also, I’ve said it again and I’ll say it again, I don’t think we’ll see any major revelations until ComicCon. They would be making their first big pitch to their potential audience there.
I also have this strange feeling that our first big reveal will be Nimoy and/or Quinto in their Spock makeup. I don’t know why, maybe it’s because they wouldn’t be giving away too much. We know what Nimoy looks like in Spock make-up, and even Qiunto for that matter, if you managed to see those photos from last fall.

I want to see a new poster with the cast or new Enterprise on it!

Sorry, that cshould say “I’ve said it before..”. Man, I need to check my typing more closely.

I wish they stop saying JJ Abrams Star Trek as though he created the thing.

JJ Abrams is only adding to the mythos of Star Trek. I respect what JJ is doing but I can’t blindly day he is the best thing ever in Star Trek.

…and all without a cent from me.

JJ Abrams is a brand. No getting away from that. It sold Cloverfield and now it’s going to sell trek.

Also, this is JJ Abrams’ installment of Star Trek. Much like Meyer had his. Not an unfair moniker.

oh so Mr. Stark comes home to find Mr. Seven and a black cat ???
whats next? iron man fights w/ seven against tos super men (including Hulk).

Godzilla vs Cloverfield w/ cameo of ‘The Worm Guy’

why dont you add the yamato, arcadia, emeraldas, and the threenine while your at it. :)


yeah he sold the car to kirk

I guess he is a big name, but it implies he made Star Trek on his own and taking it away from Roddenberry, calling it JJ Abrams Star Trek makes me feel he is disowning all the past 42 years of Trek.

Mike Meyers is funny???? There’s more of a chance that I’ll get Alex Trebek pregnant than thinking Meyers is funny at all…this is, of course my opinion.

Too bad, he had a chance to be funny..his parents are Liverpudlians and he’s a pretty big Beatle fan.